Candid camera

Lasers and cameras beneath train tracks are being used to monitor key components such as wheels, brake pads and current collector shoes in trains operating out of London’s Wimbledon depot.

AEA Technology is supplying the system to South West Trains under a new leasing agreement with Porterbrook where, once installed, there will be nine cameras beneath the track taking photographs of components on trains as they pass overhead.

Eventually around 5000 pictures will be taken every day of key components such as wheels and brake pads so that data can be interpreted by computers beside the track. The data will be transmitted via a telephone line to the depot staff and to AEA Technology’s rail business in Derby where it will provide information about the condition of each individual component.

The new system will allow the continuous monitoring of components and so allow any problems to be identified early on. Using the new system, data will be collected on exact wear rates for each component allowing maintenance work to be predicted in advance and equipment and spare parts prepared before the train is brought in for repair – so speeding up maintenance procedures.

AEA Technology Telephone: 01235 43 3612

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